marvel at the organic shapes of the new hermes store at 17 rue de sèvres in the ritzy saint-germain-des-prés neighborhood of paris. the building was originally built as an art deco homage in the form of lutetia swimming pool. the pool closed in 1970 and became a fashion show room. the re-design was headed up by denis montel and the rdai agency, the architect firm that creates and designs all hermès stores across the globe.
“the idea was to develop a harmonious dialogue between the origins and the present. the aim was to restore a place that was naturally timeworn but also massively transformed in the mid- 1970s, to make it suitable for public use. we wanted to bring out the qualities of the existing architecture and recapture the spirit of the 1935 swimming pool, while offering a very modern expression of the hermès spirit at this left bank location. the old pool is lined with a mosaic of stoneware and glass paste in a dozen shades of grey, white, light green, white gold, silver, etc. the idea is to use these colours to recreate the sensation of a pool with a shimmering, sparkling surface. the presence of the water is also evoked on the ceilings by projections that are made by the lighting system.”